6 biggest takeaways from the Vikings loss to the Lions in Week 18

Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota Vikings takeaway No. 4

Youth has the defense in a good place.

Moving on from veterans like Eric Kendricks and Patrick Peterson was going to be a challenge for the Minnesota Vikings defense in 2023. Thankfully, there were some young players who were ready to step up and solidify their place on the roster.

Undrafted rookie Ivan Pace Jr. was excellent at interior linebacker all year, He led the team with nine combined tackles against Detroit and finished the season with 102 combined tackles on the year, adding 2.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Camryn Bynum is another young defender who continues to step up. He tied for the second-most tackles on Sunday (7) and finishes the season with the most combined tackles on the season for the Vikings (137)

They aren't alone as young defenders who contributed this season. Guys like Akayleb Evans, Mekhi Blackmon, Josh Metellus, and Pat Jones II are all 25 years old or younger and could be bright points for the Minnesota Vikings defense in the coming years.